Bing Crosby’s Father O’Malley is an unusual but not unreal priest who sings, jokes, listens, and is unfailingly patient as the people around him act like… well, human beings. I don’t have any religious affiliation and yet have met two priests who embody the kindness, humor, compassion, and the unruffled attitude of Father O’Malley. They don’t sing like Bing, but one of them is a great tap dancer.
Contrast Father O’Malley with the aging Father Fitzgibbon’s quote which explains his attitude towards play. “A golf course is nothing but a poolroom moved outside.” Also the good Father O’Malley points out, “I’m sure that the way to say what I’d like to say will occur to me after you’ve gone.” How many times has that happened to you?
If you can get past a group of pre-adolescent and adolescent boys really wanting to stay and sing some more songs in a damp church basement, rather than play stickball outside, you’ll enjoy hanging out in St Dominic’s parish in New York City.
Ethel Lee-Miller is a Tucson writer and author who blogs pretty regularly and every day at Christmastime.